A little while back I did a post on how to to choose a real estate agent.

This post is on some practical interview questions to ask a real estate agent – that is, your potential listing agent candidates.

I arrived at these questions following discussion with a significant number of leading greater Toronto area realtors, coupled with our team’s experience.

As with most significant transactions, it pays to be informed.  Interviewing candidate real estate agents that you are considering to list your home with just makes sense.

Talking to a realtor early can eliminate many problems that might occur later in the sales process. A short interview will help determine if you and the realtor are on the same page, which benefits both of you.

It will boost your feelings of trust and confidence, and will signal to the agent if you have reasonable expectations related to selling your home. Most of all, a short meeting gives you the opportunity to ask some important questions that will help you choose the right realtor for your needs.

1) How long have you been representing sellers?

Experienced selling agents have a lot going for them. They know how to effectively list, market and sell homes, and typically have a network of potential buyers, or agents who have potential buyers, now.  An experienced realtor also has a keen sense about what sells and why. Always be sure to ask the potential listing agent how much experience they have selling residential properties that are reasonably similar to yours.

2) Are you a full-time agent?

A full-time realtor means you get full-time representation. This doesn’t mean that there are no solid, professional part-time realtors because there are. Most people choose to sign with a full-time agent because they want the attention, experience and commitment that comes from making selling homes their first priority.

3) How many listings at my home’s asking price have you sold over the past 12 – 24 months?

This is a good question to help understand the difference between an agent who “can sell” and one that “has sold” homes at you price point, recently.

4) What would you list our home at, and why?

This is a good one to understand how the potential agent approaches the sometimes challenging task of setting the target asking price.

5) What was your selling price to asking price ratio over the last 12 – 24 months?

Once you have asked how the agent would set the asking price, it would be helpful to understand how close to the asking prices did the properties they sold go for.  The selling to asking price ratio is this key metric. For example, if the asking price for a property was $500,000, and the home sold for $480,000, then the selling to asking price ratio would be $480,000/$500,000 x 100 = 96%. The higher the ratio, the closer they came to selling the home for its listing price. This ratio gives you an indication of how well the realtor is able to set a realistic selling price.  Different realtors have different strategies when it comes to setting the asking price, and their respective selling to asking price ratio.

6) Tell me about the marketing plan you will use for my home listing?

Agents can have significantly varying marketing plans.   Utilizing home staging, professional photography and videography are tools that leading realtors use to effectively ensure that your property shows to its full potential in on-line (MLS), off-line marketing material, at open houses and showings.  For more about this, click here.  Tapping into an active network of potential buyers through a variety of off-line and on-line channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) can typically be a significant component to a marketing program. For more on this, click here.

 

There are certainly many other interview questions that may be a fit based on your needs and priorities, but I hope these six prove to be a helpful start.  If you are looking for recommendations on some excellent listing agents, please feel free to contact us here.

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